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Hightlights of Harbors Before During or After Your Gulet Cruises in Turkey

Depending on your holiday style, where you embark and disembark from can be determined by what you expect to see and do during your gulet cruise holidays in Turkey. You may think to start from a harbor only because you also wish to see that place. This can be done. However you will need to give yourself the time – maybe a couple of days – before setting sail on your gulet vacation.

For instance if you plan on enjoying some nightlife, you can embark from Bodrum, Marmaris or Fethiye. But don’t expect to do much if the day you arrive is the day you begin your blue cruise journey. You could stay in a hotel for a night or two, in order to enjoy the harbor city. Then plan out the rest of your itinerary to go to other places of interest.

Here are a few of the highlights that you can expect  from each of the major harbors that Turkish gulets set sail from or return to.

Bodrum blue cruises - St. Peter's Castle in the harbor
Bodrum blue cruises – St. Peter’s Castle in the harbor

One of the most popular holiday hot spots in Southern Turkey – not only by foreign visitors, but also by local tourists alike. Bodrum doesn’t offer much for historical architecture and lush green hilltops, but it is famed for the best nightlife entertainment this side of the Turkish coast. A place where the rich and famous, the celebrities choose to holiday during the summer months. During the day, shopping, cafes, bars and fine quality restaurants are plentiful. There is also the underwater museum of archeology and famous landmark, the St. Peter’s Castle as well.

Gulets in Marmaris Turkey
Gulets in Marmaris Turkey

When it comes to Marmaris, green hilltops is an understatement as the whole region is totally covered in lush green hills. Marmaris also has its own ‘Bar Street’, but its really geared for the very young tourists who party hard. There are a variety – more than enough – restaurants along the waterfront. The promenade extends all the way to the next town resort of Icmeler. Icmeler is probably the cleanest beach you will find in the immediate area. That is not to say that you can’t enjoy a pleasant swimming experience at the public beach as well. Shopping? Yes the marketplace offers a wide assortment of shops. There isn’t much for high end travelers. The best feature of Marmaris, and that is if you love the outdoors, are the villages nearby. For biking and hiking enthusiasts, Marmaris is probably one of the most ideal places for this. Beautiful scenery with sea views, forests where biking and hiking trails are present. One other thing about Marmaris is itinerary choices. Since it is located where the Mediterranean sea meets the Aegean, travelers expected to go on gulet cruises, have more to choose in itinerary combinations than any other region on the south coast between Bodrum and Kas / Kalkan. Marmaris is also home to 4 major marinas and quite a preferred location for yachtsmen and the famous traveling with their own yacht.

Butterfly Valley, Fethiye
Butterfly Valley, Fethiye

Fethiye is a combination of great nightlife entertainment (Hisaronu town), history galore (Lycian and Carian), shopping in the city centre, beaches (particularly Oludeniz – Blue Lagoon),  dining, and biking / hiking trips – the start or end of the Lykian trail. From this harbor or Gocek, a visit to the King Rock Tombs in the ancient city of Caunos is very possible. Also a trip through the reeds in the delta will lead you to the mud baths and thermal waters of Dalyan.  Fethiye is also quite famous for Butterfly valley. Probably one of the most picturesque places on the southern Mediterranean of Turkey. Within the city limits are rock tombs up in the cliffs, the sarcophaguses from the Lycian period and an ancient amphitheatre along the harbor.

Another feature between Fethiye and Gocek is paragliding in the Oludeniz region. Where paragliders jump off Mt. Babadag from 1900 meters high.

Gocek port - ideal embarkation point for luxury gulet blue cruise holidays
Gocek port – ideal embarkation point for luxury gulet blue cruise holidays

Gocek is a quiet little town, tucked away in its own little bay with large quality houses in the nearby hills. The added bonus with Gocek is that it is the closest harbor to the airport – a mere 20 minutes drive. The visitors are generally higher end travelers and it is home to 6 marinas; therefore quite favored by yachtsman. Gocek is a chic town meant for travels seeking more of the peace and quiet type of holidays.  From this port, an itinerary to see historical places would be to head east further into the Mediterranean for a visit to the sunken city of Simena. Then there is the charming towns of Kas and Kalkan. You might even be able to stretch your route as far as Demre to visit the Church of St. Nicholas (otherwise known as the place of Father Christmas – Santa Claus).

Lycian tombs in the sunken city of Simena
Lycian tombs in the sunken city of Simena

Well there you have it in a nutshell. This information is just from each harbor – then there’s all the other places to see in between!

Now you can plan your itinerary and start enjoying your holidays along Turkey’s magnificent coastline.

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